Air fryer broccoli and cauliflower florets are tossed in oil & spices and air fried until crispy and tender in just 10 minutes! This simple recipe will become your new go-to weeknight side dish!
Broccoli and cauliflower are two of my favorite vegetables! They are nutritious (source), versatile, and when cooked right, downright delicious. Making them in the air fryer was a game-changer and now I eat them weekly!
Testing this recipe took a couple of times, as broccoli can easily burn! But this air fryer recipe perfectly cooks the cauliflower and broccoli until crisp tender and slightly browned.
Just a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes are all you need for an awesome side dish the whole family will love!
This air fryer broccoli and cauliflower recipe is the perfect way to prepare these cruciferous vegetables into a flavorful and healthy side dish in minutes.
Next time you're looking for a quick, healthy, and delicious veggie side to round out dinner, give this air fryer broccoli and cauliflower a try!
I love making broccoli in the air fryer as it always comes out perfectly crisp and slightly browned. Check out my recipe for Air Fryer Broccoli Parmesan as well as How to Make Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer!
📋 Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- Quick & Easy: Ready in just 10-15 minutes: Super fast prep and cook time.
- Healthier: Crispy and tender vegetables without deep frying. Lower in calories than broccoli and cauliflower made with loads of oil or butter.
- Simple Ingredients: Made with just a few healthy ingredients like broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, and spices.
- Part of Your 5 A Day: An easy way to get more vegetables into your diet!
- Family Favorite: Kid-friendly and appealing veggie side dish.
- Meal Prep Magic: Stores well to have delicious leftovers for a few days.
- Make It Your Own: Easy to make and customize to your tastes!
This easy air fryer broccoli and cauliflower recipe transforms fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets into a perfect side in just 10 minutes flat. With just a small amount of oil, garlic, and spices, you end up with tender, brightly flavored veggies with just the right amount of crispiness.
This easy air fryer recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients:
- Broccoli and Cauliflower: When preparing the broccoli and cauliflower, you want bite-sized florets, about 1-2 inches wide. Having them around the same size will ensure even cooking. You can use pre-cut florets to save time, or cut them yourself from a whole head of broccoli and cauliflower. Just be sure to cut off any thicker stems. Larger florets can be cut in half.
- Oil and Seasonings: A small amount of olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper are all you need to add maximum flavor. The oil ensures the broccoli and cauliflower get crispy in the air fryer, while the seasonings infuse them with flavor. Feel free to adjust any of the seasonings to your taste, or add extras like lemon juice, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, etc.
See the recipe card for precise quantities and complete step-by-step instructions.
✔️ Ingredient Substitutions
- Oil: Vegetable oil or avocado oil instead of olive oil.
- Flavors: Italian seasoning or any dried herbs for garlic/onion powder.
- Seasoning: Seasoned salt instead of regular salt and pepper.
- Black Pepper: Lemon pepper seasoning rather than black pepper. Reduce the salt by ½ if using lemon pepper seasoning.
- Oil-Free: Omit oil for lower calories and use seasoning only.
- Vegan: Use vegan parmesan cheese instead of grated Parmesan cheese.
📖 How to Make Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
This easy 7-ingredient recipe for air fryer broccoli and cauliflower is truly a game changer for vegetable side dishes.
You can ditch the long roasting or boiling required for most broccoli and cauliflower preparations and instead have perfect florets in just 10 minutes start to finish.
With just 5 minutes of prep time and 5-6 minutes of cook time, you can have this tasty air fryer broccoli and cauliflower recipe on the dinner table in less than 15 minutes total.
1. Cut and Prep the Vegetables
Start by cutting fresh broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized florets, about 1-2 inches wide. Larger pieces may need a few extra minutes of cook time.
For food safety, rinse the broccoli and cauliflower florets well under cool water to remove any excess dirt. Pat them dry very well with a paper towel to get out any water or shake in a salad spinner. This helps achieve the crispy texture.
2. Toss the Vegetables with Oil and Seasonings
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil, and all the seasonings - the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Toss really well until they are evenly coated in oil and spices.
3. Place in Air Fryer
Transfer the oiled and seasoned vegetables to the air fryer basket in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd.
4. Air Fry
Air fry at 180°C/355°F for 5 - 6 minutes, shaking halfway through cook time.
5. Enjoy Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower!
Once air fried, the broccoli and cauliflower will be lightly browned and crispy outside but still tender inside. Enjoy your vegetables while hot and crispy!
- Adjust air fryer cook time as needed based on the size of your air fryer basket and broccoli/cauliflower florets.
- Add any additional desired seasonings like lemon juice or Parmesan cheese after air frying.
That's it! Way faster than oven roasting and with less oil than pan frying.
There are endless possibilities for customizing this recipe:
- Add Veggies: Add halved brussels sprouts or chopped bell peppers. Mix in chopped zucchini or yellow squash before air frying.
- Protein Boost: Toss in cooked bacon pieces or chicken sausage. See How to Make Chicken Sausages in the Air Fryer!
- Cheesy: Top with shredded Parmesan cheese after air frying.
- Add Flavor: Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and red pepper flakes.
- Sheet Pan Meal: Make it a sheet pan meal by adding salmon fillets or chicken drumsticks.
- Vegan: For a vegan version, use coconut oil and top with toasted almond slices instead of cheese.
- Spicy Seasonings: Season with a Cajun or jerk spice blend instead of garlic/onion powder.
Get creative with mix-ins and extra seasonings to suit your tastes! The broccoli and cauliflower pair well with almost any flavors.
This versatile broccoli and cauliflower side dish pairs well with all kinds of main courses, including:
- Air Fryer or Oven-Baked Chicken: The crispy broccoli and cauliflower complement baked chicken perfectly. Check out how to make Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs and Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks for some inspiration!
- Fish Fillets or Shrimp: Either white fish or salmon fillets pair nicely with the vegetables. For a super quick dinner, try them with my Air Fryer Frozen Fish Fillets recipe!
- Burgers and Hot Dogs: For an easy summer cookout meal.
- Steak or Lamb Chops: The vegetables balance nicely with a hearty piece of meat. Try it with my Air Fryer Cube Steak!
- Meatloaf or Meatballs: Comfort food at its finest!
- Fried Rice or Pasta: My Instant Pot Fried Rice is the best recipe for a veggie packed one-pot meal.
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs: For an easy full meal made entirely in the air fryer!
- Veggie Bowls: Serve over rice with chickpeas and tahini sauce for a vegetarian meal.
This is where the air fryer comes in! The air fryer utilizes hot air to cook food, producing a light crispy texture without all the oil of deep frying. It's the ideal appliance for creating fast and delicious broccoli and cauliflower.
The hot air in the air fryer gives the broccoli and cauliflower a light crispiness and caramelization while keeping them tender inside. A small amount of oil and seasonings is all you need to add maximum flavor.
I used two popular air fryers to test this recipe:
- Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer Oven: This air fryer has a useful viewing window that allows you to monitor the food as it cooks, which is perfect for making sure the broccoli and cauliflower don't burn.
- Cosori Max XL Large Cooker: It has a capacity of 5.8 quarts, which is quite large! The basket is slightly smaller than my Instant Pot model but has very good hot air circulation.
I also used a large mixing bowl to toss the broccoli and cauliflower with the seasonings and oil.
To store leftovers:
- Allow air fried broccoli and cauliflower to cool slightly, then transfer to an airtight container or zip top bag.
- Store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Reheat in the air fryer or microwave until hot, 1-2 minutes.
The crispy texture won't hold up as well for leftovers, but they still taste delicious! For the best texture, eat right after air frying.
These flavorful vegetables pair well with all kinds of main dishes! Serve them alongside air fryer chicken legs, fish fillets, burgers, meatloaf, pork chops, etc. Or eat them as a quick snack!
Cut the crowns off fresh heads of broccoli and cauliflower. Then use a sharp knife to cut them into smaller florets, about 1-2 inches in size. Cut off thick stems, so all florets are roughly the same size for even cooking.
Make sure excess moisture was patted off, don't overcrowd the air fryer basket, and give the basket a good shake midway through cooking. Add 1-2 minutes for extra crispness. Mist with oil spray next time instead of tossing in oil.
Yes! Add 1-2 extra minutes to the cook time if starting with frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets. Make sure they are not icy before air frying.
The broccoli and cauliflower will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the air fryer or microwave until hot. The texture won't be quite as crispy when reheating leftover air fryer broccoli and cauliflower.
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
- Make sure the broccoli and cauliflower florets are dried very well after rinsing to prevent steaming instead of frying.
- Don't overcrowd the air fryer basket. Cook in batches for even crisping.
- Give the basket a good shake halfway through cooking to flip the veggies.
- Add 1-2 minutes to cook time if using larger florets or very full air fryer basket.
- Mist the florets with olive oil spray rather than tossing in oil to lower the calories even further.
- For extra-crispy broccoli, preheat air fryer for 3 minutes before adding veggies.
📒 Recipe Card
Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Large mixing bowl
- ½ pound broccoli florets about 1½ - 2 cups, cut from fresh broccoli
- ½ pound cauliflower florets about 1½ - 2 cups, cut from fresh cauliflower
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Cut the broccoli and cauliflower florets into similar sized pieces, about 1-2 inches wide.
- In a large bowl, toss the broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
- Transfer the vegetables to the air fryer basket in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd.
- Air fry at 180°C/355°F for 5-6 minutes, shaking halfway through cook time.
- Veggies are done when lightly browned and tender. Enjoy!
This recipe was tested with these air fryers: